The contact induced partial restructuring of the non-dominating variety of Portuguese in East Timor

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It is generally accepted that both history and contact shape language but language contact is typically invoked as a prime factor in the emergence of varieties of a language, especially if it happens in a multilingual context. The present paper analyzes some specific characteristics of the Portuguese non-dominating variety in East Timor. The study focuses on three types of constructions that can be considered “problematic”: (i) the constructions with polysemous tense and aspect markers, (ii) the copula constructions, and (iii) the specificities of the polysemous ‘é que’ construction in East-Timorese usage. In broad terms, the study follows the theoretical model for partial restructuring, as defined in Holm (2004), and defended for the Timorese variety in Holm, Greksáková and Albuquerque (2015). It is argued that we deal here with a non-dominating variety “in the making” (as proposed by Afonso and Goglia, 2015a), i.e., with a (re)emerging (not yet established) variety of Portuguese.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPluricentric Languages and Non-Dominant Varieties Worldwide
Subtitle of host publicationThe pluricentricity of Portuguese and Spanish: New concepts and descriptions
EditorsRudolf Muhr, Eugênia Duarte, Amália Mendes, Carla Amóros Negre, Juan A. Thomas
Place of PublicationWien/Frankfurt a. Main
PublisherPeter Lang
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)978-3-631-67914-2
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Línguas pluricêntricas
  • Variedades não-dominantes do Português
  • Línguas em contacto
  • Português de Timor-Leste
  • Situação linguística em Timor Leste


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